Fruit and Veggie Promotion Ideas

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Take Them With You

Dina Chaimovitch, with the Toronto Public Health's Invite Us Along Campaign, did a short presentation that focused on how easy it is to “take them along.”

She demonstrated a dip recipe and provided little clear cups with dip on the bottom and strips of celery, carrots, fennel and peppers placed on top.

Track 5 A Day

Madalyn Long, RD, decided to concentrate on 5-A-Day for National Nutrition Month. She challenged the students (K-5th grades) to eat 5-A-Day and track their results.

Each week during March they handed in their challenge sheets to receive a coupon for a free casual dress day plus a 5-A-Day Champ Apple with their name put up on the cafeteria walls. Apple stickers are added to the apples for each additional week and these go home at the end. For a school that has to wear uniforms, this is a big deal and a good alternative to a food reward. The cafeteria served lots of fruits and vegetables for lunch. Students learned what serving sizes are and what counts as a fruit and vegetable serving. A few teachers set good examples and took the challenge along with the kids.

5 A Day The Color Way

Mary Ann McFarland, MS, RD, presented a workshop on “5 A Day The Color Way” to a group of paraprofessionals who teach adults and youth with limited resources.

She reviewed the concept that each color category of fruit and vegetable (red, yellow/orange, blue/purple, green and white) has beneficial components that are common to that color group. It is important to get a variety of colors each day.

One of Mary’s program assistants, Kathie Hicks, came up with the following hands-on technique with her senior adults. She bought five foam boards in the fruit and vegetable colors. She divided her participants into five groups and gave them each a color board. She asked each group to list all the vegetables and fruits that they could think of in their color.

The participants were given 10 to 15 minutes to complete the task. As an incentive, the group that listed the most fruits and vegetables got an appropriate prize such as a vegetable peeler or a collection of 5-a-Day recipe booklets from www.5aday.com. After each group finished, the program assistant went over each of the color groups. She informed the class about those fruits not listed, such as pomegranates in the red group. The presenter anticipated those unusual fruits and vegetables from each color group and had them ready for sampling. She wanted to encourage people to eat a greater variety.

The foam boards also displayed the benefits of that color group of fruit and vegetables on the other side. The program assistant had listed these on the back of each board prior to the meeting.

Blue/purple group

• Contains health-promoting phytonutreints such as phenolics and anthocyanins (explain what these big words mean)

• Lowers risk of some cancers

• Enhances urinary tract health

• Contributes to healthful aging

• Contains vitamin C and potassium

• Promotes memory use

Green Group

• Contains vitamin K and some calcium (in leafy greens) which contribute to strong bones and teeth

• Helps with vision health

• Contains lutein, which helps to prevent macular degeneration (explain what this is and how it is a leading cause of blindness in older people), and beta carotene

• Contains folate and vitamin C

• Lowers risk of cancer

White group (tan, brown)

• Contains allicin contributed by onion-like vegetables (explain that this may help lower cholesterol levels and prevent tumors from forming, which prevents cancer)

• Contains the mineral selenium (mushrooms as an example), which may protect against heart disease and cancer

• Provides potassium (root vegetables such as potatoes and turnips), which contributes to better regulation of blood pressure

Orange and yellow group

• Contains vitamin A and beta-carotene (provides the color of these) which promote vision health

• Provides vitamin C (oranges and melons) and bioflavonoids, which contribute to a healthy immune system and healthy heart (mentioned the potassium in carrots)

Red group

• Contains lycopene which may help prevent prostrate cancer (mention processed tomato products)

• Contains vitamin C to promote heart health

• Improves urinary health (mention cranberries as preventing bacteria from sticking to urinary tract or bladder)

• Promotes memory health (mention the antioxidant potential in red berries and cranberries)

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